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PHILOSOPHY

The Ancient Oriental Martial Art of Shaolin Lohan Kung Fu
* * * Rite of 35 Chambers * * *
The Lohan have been in existence for over 1,650 years in China and were the founders of the "White Lotus Society" authorized to teach non-Buddhist the secrets of Shaolin Kung Fu.

Shaolin monks are considered the foremost exponents of Martial Arts (Wushu) in China and abroad. Due to the extreme nature of their training they gained almost super-human abilities.

"Lohan" is a Chinese word derived from the Sanskrit word "Arhat" which means worthy one. There have been many controversies over what the Lohan were. In Northern China Lohan were described to be the "enlightened spirits" from the Honan Shaolin Temple. In Southern China the Lohan were considered to be renegade monks from the Fukien Siu Lum Temple.

Legend states that between 265AD and 520AD Da´ Mo (Bohidarhma) created Sho Pa Lo Han (18 Postures of Lohan). This was basically the foundation of many of the following styles that were established from that time period in Shaolin.

According to Buddhist tradition, monks were not allowed to leave the temple(s). How was it that the Buddhist Patriarch "Bohidarhma" was able to leave his temple in India? Interesting question. This was an interesting problem for the monks Shaolin also. How were they able to leave the temple(s) to conduct charitable missions, recruiting, etc.? The answer is quite simple. In very traditional Chinese fashion the monks of Shaolin created another sect to their order. This sect would be allowed to become the "Wandering Monks of China" heard of in legends and history.

These ´Lohan´ wandered all over feudal China. During those many years, the monks acquired many different styles of Martial Arts. The Shaolin monks were (and still are) considered the foremost experts of Chuan Fa in China but they were not the sole people practicing the Martial Arts.

Also, during the late Ming Dynasty the Shaolin monks became concerned about the changes in their country. They knew that the up and coming Manchurian government would be coming after them. They wanted to teach non-Buddhist the Martial Arts that they had become so famous for to assist in protecting their way of life. Unfortunately, they were left with another problem. Non-Buddhist could not be taught the Martial Arts of their temple. Not without first converting. Therefore they commissioned the Lohan Sect for this task.

This tradition is the foundation of our system. We have many styles integrated into our own that are not solely Shaolin techniques. These sub-styles of the system have been modified with Shaolin philosophy and understanding.

There are 72 confirmed sects from the Shaolin Temples. Within those sects there are many different styles of Martial Arts. Not to mention that with so many people in one country the development of different understandings (systems) will happen. With this in mind there must be well over 2,500 different styles of Kung Fu in China alone.

The Martial Art of Shaolin Lohan Kung Fu consists of 35 Chambers of study listed below:
NOVICE CHAMBER(s) (Life Begins)
Chamber 1 -- Green Sash (Spring)
a.) Lohan Salutation
b.) 6 Novice Stances
c.) 1st Standard of Shaolin

Chamber 2 -- Blue Sash (Summer)
a.) 5 Novice Kicks
b.) 2nd Standard of Shaolin

Chamber 3 -- Purple Sash (Fall / Autumn)
a.) 10 Novice Break-Fall and Training Techniques
b.) 3rd Standard of Shaolin

Chamber 4 -- Purple Sash w/ Black Tassels (Winter)
a.) Shaolin Chuan
b.) 4th and 5th Standard of Shaolin
c.) Section 1 of the Bone Marrow Washing Chi Kung Kuen
d.) Transition Stance Training
e.) Bang-Arm Training
f.) Advancing & Retreating Strike Training

BEGINNER CHAMBER(s) (Sun is Below the Horizon)
Chamber 5 -- Black Sash
a.) 23 Labels of the Shantung Black Tiger Kuen
b.) 25 Beginner Kicks
c.) 8 Goals of the "Shaolin Lohan School of Kung Fu"
d.) 5 Animal Postures and Names
e.) 5 Beginner Stances
f.) 2 Beginner Break-Fall Techniques
g.) Philosophy Training
h.) 5th and 12th Section of the 10 Iron String Kuen (Disciples)
i.) Application to "Rising Dragon" from the 10 Iron String Kuen (Disciples)
j.) Huangse´ Gebei 6 Kick Combination (Disciples)
k.) Huangse´ Gebei Signature Multi-Gate Technique (Disciples)
j.) Gong Qui Kuen (Disciples)

BEGINNER / INTERMEDIATE CHAMBER(s) (Sun is Starting to Rise)
Chamber 6 -- Red Sash
a.) 34 Labels of the Shantung Black Tiger Kuen
b.) 4 Beginner/Intermediate Kicks
c.) Beginner/Intermediate Stance Training
d.) Breath and Stamina Training
e.) Philosophy Training
f.) Lohan Staff Kuen
g.) 2-Man Lohan Staff Kuen
h.) Lohan Lineage/History Introduction
i.) 10 Iron String Kuen (Disciples through Chamber 10)

Chamber 7 -- Red Sash w/ Black Tassels
a.) Chiang Chuan
b.) "Chi-Na" Training
c.) 6 Beginner/Intermediate Kicks
d.) Sequenced Tiger Training
e.) Philosophy Training
f.) Wrist and Grip Training
g.) Sponge Body Introduction/Training
h.) Chi Kung Break-Fall Training

Chamber 8 -- Red Sash w/ Red Tassels
a.) Shantung Black Tiger Kuen
b.) 6 Beginner/Intermediate Kicks
c.) Multi-Gate Bang-Arm Training
d.) "Chi-Sao" (Sensitivity) Training
e.) Chain Kick Training
f.) Philosophy Training
g.) Introduction to Meditation
h.) Combat Tactics and Application
i.) Break-Fall Training

Chamber 9 -- Red Sash w/ Orange Tassels and/or
Chamber 9 -- Red Sash w/ White Tassels ("Sihing" - Assistant Instructor)
a.) Lohan Spear Kuen
b.) 6 Beginner/Intermediate Kicks
c.) Philosophy Training
d.) Combat Tactics and Application
e.) Break-Fall Training
f.) 10 Iron String Kuen Completion (Disciples)

INTERMEDIATE CHAMBER(s) (Sun is Higher in the Sky)
Chamber 10 -- Orange Sash
a.) Lohan Chuan
b.) Intermediate Stance Training
c.) Intermediate Break-Fall Training
d.) 12 Intermediate Kicks
e.) Combat Applications and Sparring
f.) Eyebrow Staff Kuen
g.) Walking Staff Kuen
h.) Complete Lohan Lineage/History
i.) Light-Foot Kung Fu Training (Disciples)
j.) Drunken Gump Kuen (Disciples)
k.) Huangse´ Gebei Battle-Cane Training (Disciples)

Chamber 11 -- Orange Sash w/ Black Tassels
a.) Broadsword Kuen
b.) Broadsword and Shield Kuen
c.) 1 Spear vs. Broadsword Kuen
d.) Double Broadsword Kuen
e.) 12 Intermediate Kicks
f.) Huangse´ Gebei Nunchaku Training (Disciples)

Chamber 12 -- Orange Sash w/ Red Tassels
a.) Double-End Spear Kuen
b.) 12 Intermediate Kicks
c.) Intermediate Meditation Training
d.) Wide Short-Handle Broadsword Kuen
e.) Introduction to Pressure-Point Combat
f.) Double Dagger Kuen
g.) Huangse´ Gebei Double Nunchaku Training (Disciples)

Chamber 13 - Orange Sash w/ Orange Tassels
a.) White Crane Kuen
b.) Emei Dagger Kuen
c.) 12 Intermediate Kicks
d.) Long Handle Broadsword Kuen
e.) Eagle Claw Kuen (Disciples)
f.) Huangse´ Gebei Emei Dagger Training (Disciples)

Chamber 14 -- Orange Sash w/ Yellow Tassels and/or
Chamber 14 -- Orange Sash w/ White Tassels ("Sisuk" - Instructor)
a.) 2-Man Tiger vs. Crane Kuen
b.) Tiger/Crane Kuen
.) Northern Leopard Kuen
d.) 12 Intermediate Kicks
e.) Butterfly Sword Kuen
f.) Double Hook Sword Kuen
g.) Intermediate Break-Fall Training
h.) Full Contact Combat Training
i.) Huangse´ Gebei Double Hook Swords Training (Disciples)
j.) Huangse´ Gebei Double Broadsword Training (Disciples)

ADVANCED CHAMBER(s) (Sun is Reaching it´s Zenith)
Chamber 15 -- Yellow Sash
a.) 9-Rings Lance Kuen
b.) 3-Sectional Staff Kuen
c.) 12 Advanced Kicks
d.) 9-Section Whip Kuen
e.) Tai Mantis Kuen (Disciples)
f.) Huangse´ Gebei 3-Sectional Staff Training (Disciples)
g.) Huangse´ Gebei 9-Section Whip Training (Disciples)

Chamber 16 -- Yellow Sash w/ Black Tassels
a.) Snake Kuen
b.) 12 Advanced Kicks
c.) Fan Kuen
d.) Advanced "Chi-Na" Training
e.) Iron Ring Kuen
f.) Advanced Philosophy Training
g.) Advanced Meditation Training
h.) Huangse´ Gebei Iron Fan Training (Disciples)
i.) Huangse´ Gebei Advanced Combat Training (Disciples)

Chamber 17 -- Yellow Sash w/ Red Tassels
a.) Wind-Fire Wheel Kuen
b.) Rope Dart Kuen
c.) 12 Advanced Kicks
d.) Meteor Hammer Kuen
e.) Huangse´ Gebei 9-Rings Lance Training (Disciples)
f.) Huangse´ Gebei Monk´s Spade Training (Disciples)

Chamber 18 -- Yellow Sash w/ Orange Tassels
a.) Quan-Dao Kuen
b.) Snake Tongue Wheel Kuen
c.) 12 Advanced Kicks
d.) Double Sided Halberd Kuen
ce.) Advanced Break-Fall Training
f.) Huangse´ Gebei Quan-Dao Training (Disciples)

Chamber 19 -- Yellow Sash w/ Yellow Tassels
a.) Earth Dragon Kuen
b.) 12 Advanced Kicks
c.) Baton Kuen
d.) Spring Legs Training
e.) 4-Head Deer Horn Kuen
f.) 30 Standards of Shaolin

Chamber 20 -- Yellow Sash w/ White Tassels ("Sibok" - Senior Instructor)
a.) Pakua-Dao Kuen
b.) Straight sword Kuen
c.) Double Straight sword Kuen
d.) 3 Advanced Kicks
e.) Energy Training
f.) Heavenly Dragon Kuen
g.) Five Animal Kuen
h.) Standards of Teaching
i.) Huangse´ Gebei Straight sword Training (Disciples)

EXPONENT CHAMBER(s) (Sun has Reached it´s Zenith)
Chamber 21 -- White Sash ("Sifu"- Master Instructor)
a.) Break-Fall and Acrobatics Mastery Training

Chamber 22 -- White Sash w/ Black Tassels
a.) Weapons Mastery Training
b.) Combat Mastery Training

Chamber 23 -- White Sash w/ Red Tassels
a.) Sun Tai Chi Chuan

Chamber 24 -- White Sash w/ Orange Tassels
a.) Bone Marrow Washing Chi Kung

Chamber 25 -- White Sash w/ Yellow Tassels
a.) Shaolin Nei Dan Golden Bell Chi Kung

Chamber 26 -- White Sash w/ White Tassels
a.) Acupuncture Training

Chamber 27 -- White Sash w/ Grey Tassels
a.) Apothecary Training

MASTERY CHAMBER(s) (Sun Starts to Descend) / (25 Years Minimum)
Chamber 28 -- Grey Sash ("Sigung" - Grand Master)
Chamber 29 -- Grey Sash w/ Black Tassel ("Sigung" for 1 Year)
Chamber 30 -- Grey Sash w/ Red Tassel ("Sigung" for 5 Years)
Chamber 31 -- Grey Sash w/ Orange Tassel ("Sigung" for 9 Years)
Chamber 32 -- Grey Sash w/ Yellow Tassel ("Sigung" for 13 Years)
Chamber 33 -- Grey Sash w/ White Tassel ("Sigung" for 17 Years)
Chamber 34 -- Grey Sash w/ Grey Tassel ("Sigung" for 21 Years)

VENERABLE GRANDMASTER CHAMBER ("Si-Tai-Gung") / (Sun Has Fallen)
Chamber 35 -- Black Sash w/ White Tassel ("Sigung" for 25 Years)


The unity of Body, Mind and Spirit is the focus of this system. Each of the forms is designed to work both the external and internal areas of attention.
What do the animals teach us? Strength, Tenacity, Fearlessness, Poise, Balance, Grace, Speed, Power, Suppleness, Deception, Rhythmic Endurance and "To Ride the Winds!!"
This particular school of thought encourages growth through challenge and self-discipline. Those who find their place within the Art have a tendency to allow the system to enhance their entire lives.

The true purpose of practice?

  1. To gain experience.  (Quick Action)
  2. To eliminate variables.  (Harmony and Balance)
  3. To improve quality.   (Joy, Exuberance, and Happiness)
  4. To establish consistency.  (Stability, Security, and Roots)
  5. To create opportunity.  (Freedom and Change)
  6. To pronounce validity.  (Caring and Empathy)
  7. To verify identity.  (Solitude and Reflection)
  8. To take the journey.  (Destiny)

Items in parenthesis are the corresponding ‘Numerology’ translations of the numbered process.  I have always believed that “To take the journey” is the most important thing in “Practice”.  All self-development is pronounced in this process.  “The object of the game is not to win, but to play the game.”  Meaning... do not concentrate on the destination, but rather focus on the journey.  That is the “True purpose of practice”.

  • Morality of deed
  1. Humility (Qian Xu; 謙虛/谦虚 qiānxū)
  2. Loyalty (Zhong Cheng; 忠誠/忠诚 zhōngchéng)
  3. Respect (Zun Jing; 尊敬 zūnjìng)
  4. Righteousness (Zheng Yi; 正義/正义 zhèngyì)
  5. Trust (Xin Yong; 信賴/信赖 xìnlài)
  • Morality of mind
  1. Courage (Yong Gan; 勇氣/勇气 yǒngqì)
  2. Endurance (Ren Nai; 忍耐 rěnnài)
  3. Patience (Heng Xin; 性心 xìngxīn)
  4. Perseverance (Yi Li; 毅力 yìlì)
  5. Will (Yi Zhi; 意志 yìzhì)

List of Chinese martial arts

The hundreds of different styles and schools of Chinese martial arts are collectively called Kung Fu, Wushu, Kuoshu, or Ch'uan Fa, depending on the persons or groups doing so. The following list is by no means exhaustive.

Alphabetical listing

  1. Bafaquan (八法拳) - Eight Methods
  2. Baguazhang (八卦掌; Bagua Zhang) - Eight Trigrams Palm
  3. Bajiquan (八極拳) - Eight Extremes Fist
  4. Bak Mei (白眉拳) - White Eyebrow
  5. Black Tiger Kung Fu (黑虎拳)
  6. Chaquan (查拳) - Cha Fist
  7. Changquan (長拳) - Long Fist
  8. Chuo Jiao (戳腳) - Poking Feet
  9. Chow Gar - a form of Southern Praying Mantis (南派螳螂)
  10. Choy Gar (蔡家) - also known as Rat Kung Fu
  11. Choi Lei Fut (蔡李佛; Càilǐfó)
  12. Dachengquan (大成拳) - Great Achievement Boxing (Yiquan)
  13. Ditangquan (地躺拳) - Ground-Prone Fist, Ground Tumbling Boxing
  14. Do Pi Kung Fu (道派)
  15. Dragon Kung Fu (Lung Ying) (龍形拳)
  16. Duan Quan (短拳) - Short Range Boxing
  17. Emeiquan (峨嵋拳, O Mei Ch'uan)
  18. Fanziquan (翻子拳) - Overturning Fist, Tumbling Boxing
  19. Feng Shou - Hand of the Wind
  20. Five Ancestors (五祖拳) - Wuzuquan or Ngo Cho Kun
  21. Five Animals (五形)
  22. Fujian White Crane (白鶴拳)
  23. Fu Jow Pai (虎爪派) - Tiger Claw System (also titled Black Tiger Kung Fu or Hark Fu Moon)
  24. Fut Gar - Buddhist Palm
  25. Gouquan (狗拳) - Dog Fist
  26. Hong Cha
  27. Hop Gar (俠家)
  28. Houquan (猴拳) - Monkey FistHeihuquan: see Black Tiger Kung Fu (黑虎拳)
    1. Drunken Monkey (醉猴)
  29. Hsing-i Ch'uan: see Xingyiquan (形意拳)
  30. Huaquan (華拳) - China Fist
  31. Hung Fut (洪佛) - Hung and Buddha style kung fu
  32. Hung Gar (洪家拳; also known as Hung Ga or Hung Kuen) - Shaolin Style and ancestor to many southern styles
  33. I Liq Chuan (意力拳) - Mind-Body Art, founded by Chin Lik Keong of Malaysia
  34. Jeet Kune Do (截拳道) - Way of The Intercepting Fist
  35. Jing Wu Men (精武門) - Jing Wu, a famous school founded in Shanghai that teaches several different styles.
  36. Jing Quan Do (精拳道) - a modern synthetic style
  37. Jow-Ga Kung Fu (周家) - Jow family style
  38. Kuntao - Way of the Fist
  39. Kuen-Do (拳道) - Way of The Fist
  40. Lau Gar (刘家) - Lau family styleLai Tung Pai- Shaolin Style that mixes long and short fist
    1. Lai-Ga-Sau - A recently created separate branch based in the United Kingdom.
  41. Leopard Kung Fu (豹拳)
  42. Li (Lee) Family (李家) - Li Family or Lee Family style
  43. Liu Seong Kuntao (also Liu Seong Gung Fu, Liu Seong Chuan Fa) - A Chinese art with Indonesian influence, practiced primarily in the United States.
  44. Liuhebafa Chuan (六合八法; Liu He Pa Fa, Lok Hup Ba Fa) - Six Harmonies, Eight Methods or Water Boxing
  45. Luohan Quan (羅漢拳) Arhat Boxing, Law Horn Kuen
  46. Mei Hua Quan (梅花拳 Plum Blossom Fist)
  47. Mian Quan (棉花拳擊 Cotton Boxing)
  48. Mizongyi (迷蹤羅漢拳; Mízōngquán) - Lost Track Fist (also known as My Jong Law Horn)
  49. Mok Gar (莫家拳) Mok family style
  50. Monkey Kung Fu see Houquan
  51. Nam Pai Chuan (南派拳)
  52. Nan Quan (南拳) - Southern Fist
  53. Northern Praying Mantis (北派螳螂拳)
  54. Northern Shaolin (北少林) - Bak Sil Lum
  55. Pai lum (白龍) - White Dragon, Pai Family Method, a modern style based on Kenpo with Chinese influences found mainly in the US and Canada.
  56. Paochui (炮捶) - Cannon Fist, Sanhaung Paochui
  57. Piguaquan (劈掛拳) - Chop-Hitch Fist, Axe-hitch boxing
  58. Praying Mantis: see either Northern or Southern Praying Mantis.
  59. Sanda (散打) or Sanshou (散手) - Free Fighting
  60. San Soo (散手)
  61. Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan (少林南派拳) - Southern Shaolin Boxing
  62. Shaolin Quan (少林拳)
  63. Shen Lung Kung Fu (神龍功夫) - Modern variations of Southern style Chinese martial arts based in the United States.
  64. Shuai Chiao (摔跤; Shuaijiao) - Chinese Wrestling
  65. Shequan (蛇拳) - Snake Fist
  66. Southern Praying Mantis (南派螳螂拳)
  67. Tai Chi Chuan (太極拳 Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan) - Supreme Ultimate Boxing
  68. Tantui (彈腿/譚腿) - Spring Leg style
  69. Tibetan White Crane (白鶴派)
  70. Tien Shan Pai (天山派)
  71. Tongbeiquan (通背拳) - Through-the-Back Fist
  72. White Crane: see either Fujian White Crane or Tibetan White Crane
  73. Wing Chun (詠春) - Forever Spring(永春) - See also Wing Tsun
  74. Wudangquan (武當拳)
  75. Xingyiquan (形意拳; Hsing-i Chuan) - Form-Intent Fist
  76. Yau Kung Mun (软功門) - Flexible-Power Style
  77. Yingzhaoquan (鷹爪拳) - Eagle Claw Fist
  78. Yuejiaquan (岳家槍) - Yue family Fist/Boxing
  79. Yiquan (意拳; I Ch'uan) - Mind Boxing
  80. Zhuan Shu Kuan - A modern composite style containing elements of Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and Changquan. It is based in the United Kingdom.
  81. Zi Ran Men (自然门) - Natural Boxing or "fist of nature"
  82. Zui Quan (醉拳) - Drunken Fist

General terms

  1. Dim Mak (點脈) - General term for point striking
  2. Qinna (擒拿; Chin Na) - General term for joint locks
  3. Sanshou (散手) - General term for sparring methods, but also another name for the sport, Sanda
  4. Tuishou (推手) - Term used for the "push hands" partner exercises used in the Neijia arts.
  5. Chi Sao (黐手) - Term used for sticky arm sensitivity training most notably used in Wing Chun, some concepts are also practiced in Hung Gar and many other Chinese martial arts
  6. Chi Gerk - Term used for sticky legs sensitivity training most notably used in Wing Chun, some concepts are also practiced in Hung Gar and many other Chinese martial arts

Internal and external styles

Chinese martial arts may be divided into Neijia (內家, internal family) or wàijiā (外家, external family) styles.
Many styles combine both internal and external techniques; Chow Gar is a good example of this.
There is an ongoing debate within the martial arts community at both the popular and scholarly level over the distinction between "internal" and "external" arts. Consequently, the list of styles considered internal or external may vary greatly from source to source. There are only three Chinese styles that are universally recognized as internal, and they are sometimes referred to as the "Orthodox internal styles." These three styles are Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, and Tai Chi Chuan, the three arts counted as internal and set apart by Sun Lutang, who greatly popularized the terms "nèijiā" and "wàijiā" as a method of classifying martial arts.

Styles often considered internal styles

  1. Baguazhang (八卦掌 Pa Kua Chang) - Eight Trigrams Palm
  2. Liuhebafa Chuan (六合八法 Liu He Pa Fa, Lok Hup Ba Fa) - Water Boxing
  3. Tai Chi Chuan (太極拳 Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan) - Ultimate Supreme Fist
  4. Xingyiquan (形意拳 Hsing-i Chuan) - Shape-Intent Fist
  5. Yiquan (意拳 I Chuan) - Mind Boxing